Seoul’s Best Restaurants
$ Entrées less than ₩10,000
$$ Entrées ₩10,000-25,000
$$$ Entrées more than ₩25,000
Tastiest Kimchi: You’d have to flee the country to avoid Korea’s sour, spicy cabbage staple, so there are plenty of contenders in this category, but the award has to go to the supremely pungent, extra-garlicky version served up by Myeongdong Gyoza ($).
Biggest Culinary Trend-Setter: Self-billed “new Korean” restaurants blending local flavors and contemporary culinary techniques are popping up all over the place, but Jungsikdang ($$$) remains the original and most inventive, and continues to set the bar for the rest.
Most Original Eating Experience: Step into fusion restaurant Star Chef ($$$) and tell your server you’d be happy to eat whatever the chef is recommending that evening. You may not be able to name the origins of the dish you end up sampling, but it’s guaranteed to be fresh, flavorful, and big enough to feed several.
Best Barbecue: It’s rarely a struggle to make fresh, flame-grilled beef or pork taste good, but Hwago Jip ($$) deserves special mention for its warm atmosphere, favorable price-to-quality ratio, and considerate service.
© Jonathan Hopfner from Moon Seoul, 1st Edition